What is a mineral oil?

Mineral oil is one of the most useful products that you can use at home. There are many different kinds of it. Some are for cooking, others for therapeutic purposes, and others for giving wood a shine. Mineral oil is one of these types of oils. It can be used for many different reasons. You may find this to be the solution to all your wood finishing problems.

Mineral oil is a broad term that refers to a variety of colorless, odorless higher alkane oils, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. You can find many products that have a designation on the label. Most mineral oils are liquid by-products of petroleum refining used to produce gasoline and other petroleum products.

Mineral oil for wood

It is one of the least controversial types of oils and is often used on wood to give it a shine that other products do not provide. It can be used in the kitchen as you can buy a version designed for use on kitchen surfaces. By applying the oil to the wood, it leaves a transparent finish, which means a natural look and a slight sheen. It is ideal because it does not contain perfume additives and does not emit any odors.

Is mineral oil safe?

It is not only safe but also non-toxic. It fills the pores of wooden surfaces, creating a smooth and uniform surface. This prevents the wood from peeling and protects it from food and liquids getting into the pores. Without this process, the wood could develop mold or bacteria, but it can still be washed as usual. It is not recommended to consume mineral oil without consulting a doctor, nor to inhale it. However, using it on furniture or wooden objects is a good idea and does not cause any health problems.

Mineral oil vs varnish

mineral oil

Many people say that varnish gives the wood a more exclusive look and is simply better than mineral oil for wood. But both mineral oil and varnish have their advantages and disadvantages.


Varnishing is generally more popular than applying mineral oil to wood. It is relatively cheap, easy to apply and perfectly protects against stains. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect or better than mineral oil. Lacquer can be colored to give any type of finish, however this color may fade over time. Paintwork can also crack, peel and wear off. This means that you have to sand the entire item and reapply varnish to fix it. Still, if you take care of the item, there’s a good chance the paint never needs repainting. Varnish can last for decades under the right conditions.

Mineral oil

Mineral oil makes the wood more durable and stain resistant. It is easy to apply but may require polishing for full effect. However, the protection it can provide offsets this need for regular oil application. Another advantage of mineral oil is that it is very safe for children, even before applying it. Although it is not recommended to consume the oil, it will not harm your baby or pet, unlike the varnish itself. Therefore, having it at home is not a bad idea.

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